Sleep or exercise: Which one should you prioritize?

Sleep or exercise: Which one should you prioritize?
July 25, 2019 Philip Stein

Both activities are essential for a healthy lifestyle, but in this rushed world we’re living in, time seems to thin out, and we often have to choose one over the other.

Edward Laswoski, Physiatrist and Sports Medicine Specialist of the Mayo Clinic, told TIME Magazine that “They are like food and water. I could not say which one is more important. Not only they’re both necessary, but it is difficult being healthy, giving up one of them.”

Studies show that exercise is associated with getting more quality sleep. And, on the other hand, healthy sleep habits are a must for sportive performance. The recovery you get after is as essential as the training itself.

But if you find yourself struggling to keep ahead of your daily activities, Chery Mah (Sleep investigator of Stanford University) says you should stick with sleep. “Sleep is like the foundation of a building. If not done correctly, sooner or later, the building will collapse.”

Many experts point out that getting quality rest is crucial for a healthy body and mind. It regulates our immune system, mood, appetite, brain function, and much more. So, a lack of true rest will negatively impact our bodies, regardless of exercise and a balanced diet.

Sleep needs vary by individual, but most of us sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night to get all the health benefits needed. If you must steal an hour or two to be physically active, you can do so, but carefully. Remember that better sleep means more energy to achieve your goals, whether at work or the gym.

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